As you begin to read with your child at home, here are some strategies to help you and your child have a positive experience reading together!
Look at the picture Pictures provide great clues as to what difficult words may be! Ask your child, "Do you see anything in the picture that begins with the letter _ (beginning of unknown word)?"
Sound it out Put your finger under each letter and sound it out. (This doesn't always work, thanks to the ever-confusing English language!)
Look for a smaller word in the bigger word Be a detective. Can you see a smaller word within a bigger word? Some examples are: hand, spill, pond
Skip the word and read on Put your finger over the difficult word and read the rest of the sentence. There might be clues in the rest of the sentence that will give clues as to what the difficult word is. It's very important to stress that they must go back and re-read; skipping words without trying to determine meaning won't help!
Predicting: Good readers use their clues (from pictures or text) to predict what is going to happen next. Furthermore, good readers make sure to confirm or change their prediction as they read. For example: I predict that the principal will talk crazy like Lulu because everytime Lulu has talked to someone, they start talking crazy.
Connecting: Good readers connect what is currently being read to prior knowledge.
- Text-to-Text Connections: Making a connection between what you are reading and a story you've already read. For example: "I can make a connection between The Recess Queen and Chrysanthemum because there was a bully in both stories.
- Text-to-Self Connections: Making a connection between what you are reading and something that you can personally relate to. For example: I can connect to Chester in Chester's Way because I once wrote over my sister's story just like Chester did.
Questioning: Good readers ask questions before, during, and after they read. By doing so, readers are engaged as they read which boosts comprehension. For example: While reading a book about sharks, the reader may ask "How are sharks able to swim when they weigh so much?"
Summarizing Fiction: Good readers are able to read a fictional story and summarize what has happened. An effective summary is less than a minute and involves who the main characters were, where they were, what the problem was, how the problem was solved, and the ending to the story.
Summarizing NonFiction: Good readers are able to read nonfiction text and determine what the topic is, find the main idea, and recall important details. Often, children just say as many facts as they can in a minute or less instead of determining which information is most important.
Visualizing/Creating Mental Images: Good readers create images/pictures in their mind as they read. This helps engage them while reading. For example: While reading Charlotte's Web, the reader can create mental images of the farm, the fair, or a close-up of Charlotte's infamous web.
Inferring: Good readers use clues from the text as well as their prior knowledge to form conclusions. It's all about reading between the lines. For example: I can infer that David's Mom is mad because I see her hands on her hips, and that's something that I've seen people do when they get mad.